20 March 2014

Sri Ramana Reminiscences

A very interesting book entitled, “Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi,” was released in 2011 which is full of anecdotes and reminiscences of devotees of the Maharshi. A large number of passages in the book give fresh perspectives of the Sage and his interaction with devotees. 

The first of the below quoted passages describes the example of Maharshi’s own life by way of inculcating simple rules of sattwic living to his devotees:-

In Bhagavan’s daily life one noticed personal cleanliness, tidiness of dress, habitual wearing of vibhuti and kumkum on the forehead; equal sharing of all enjoyment with those around him strict adherence to a time schedule; performing useful work however ‘low’ it may be; never leaving a work unfinished; the pursuit of perfection in every action; incessant activity except while sleeping or resting after a spell of hard work; never considering oneself superior to others; speaking the truth always, or strict silence if the expression of truth would hurt or lower the reputation of others; perfect self-help; never asking another to do a piece of work which can be done by oneself; taking full responsibility for failure if any, without shifting the blame on others; accepting success or failure with equanimity; never disturbing the peace of others; leaving the leaf plate clean after eating; complete non-interference in the affairs of others; never worrying about the future. These are the lessons Sri Ramana taught by example to his devotees. 

(By Professor Aiyer—p.139 
Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi) 

Ramana Maharshi on Arunachala

The second passage taken from the book Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi, encapsulates some of Bhagavan’s spiritual instructions to his close devotee M.G. Shanmukam:-

During my 24 years of personal association with Bhagavan, I found that he seldom preached elaborately. He would give hints which keen seekers had to absorb carefully. He once said categorically, practising atma vichara everyday is auspicious. All other sadhanas require external objects and congenial environment, but for atma vichara nothing external to oneself is required. Turning the mind within is all that is necessary. While one is engaged in atma vichara one can attend to other activities also

. . . . . 

Some of Bhagavan’s personal instructions to me were: 

(i) If you observe the breathing one-pointedly, such attention will lead you into kumbhaka (retention), which is jnana pranayama. 

(ii) The more you humble yourself, the better it is for you. 

(iii) You should look upon the world only as a dream. 

(iv) Except attending to the duty-work in life, the rest of the time should be spent in atma nishta (absorption in the Self). 

(v) Do not cause slightest hindrance or disturbance to others. 

(vi) Do all your work yourself. 

(vii) Both likes and dislikes should be discarded and eschewed. 

(viii) With attention focused on the first person and on the heart within, one should relentlessly practice, ‘Who am I?’ During such practice, the mind might suddenly spring up; so you have vigilantly pursue the vichara, ‘Who am I?” 

(By M.G. Shanmukam—p.362 
Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi) 

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